November 20, 2017
Slow progress to drop smoking rates
A Maori tobacco control researcher says the latest smoking data shows a positive trend, but it's still too slow.
The 2016-17 New Zealand Heath Survey estimated there were now 600,000 smokers of 15 percent of the population, but 174,000 of 35 percent were Maori.
Marewa Glover from Massey University's Tobacco Control Research Centre says it's not a dramatic fall but confirmation of downward trend as society has changed.
That is shown in the lower numbers of young people taking up the practice.
"People have got it. People know smoking harms, don't smoke around your children, don't smoke if you're pregnant. It's just taking a very long time for that information to ripple out through the community and of course you see among Maori communities, because 40 years ago they didn't do any work in Maori, we didn't start to get campaigns until say 20 years ago, that's why we're behind," she says.
Marewa Glover says the smoking rate for Maori women is 38 percent, three times that of Pakeha women.
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